Founder of Evenhood
When I went thorough a mental wellbeing challenge of my own, following a child bereavement, I had the same sort of experience that many others do. I know what it's like to hide a mental health condition for fear of stigma. And I know what it's like to then try getting help by talking about having a mental health condition, how it impacts me, the symptoms, the need for medication and so on.
This didn't work for me. It doesn't work for many others too. Talking about conditions, symptoms and meds is complex, emotional and it's so medicalised that it's outside the expertise of most people. It often results in the sort of stigma that comes when people think you're not normal, when actually you're just ill.
I was determined to find a better way. And I did. It is this . . .
"To manage our mental wellbeing, strengthen our resilience and to be ourselves we need to focus on the environments we experience in our daily lives."
When we focus on the environments that we find challenging, we can avoid them or limit our experience of them. We can make sure we get more of the environments that help us to stay resilient. When we focus on our skills, talents & abilities, we can play to our strengths so that we can feel positive and purposeful.
The beauty of this we can do this for each other too. That's because none of this requires any special qualifications. If we want to help someone else to manage their mental wellbeing and strengthen their resilience, we only need to understand the environments that have an impact on their wellbeing.
"We can all be experts in wellbeing & resilience - leaders, managers, colleagues, tutors, teachers, students, pupils, friends and partners."
I also found that when we have those conversations with a sense of evenhood, our ability to give and get support for wellbeing is dramatically improved.
The reason why my organisation is called "Evenhood" is because I found that if we have a mindset based in evenhood, this multiplies the benefits of focusing on our environment.
"Evenhood celebrates togetherness in the same way as we celebrate the togetherness of brotherhood, sisterhood and neighbourhood."
In the case of evenhood the thing that we can celebrate together is that we are all even, we are all equal - we all have evenhood.
"When we live in evenhood, we show kindness, respect, compassion and understanding. We care for each other as equals; we offer support; we listen with a non-judgemental ear and we encourage others to be themselves."
This sense of evenhood is wonderfully supportive of mental wellbeing. Evenhood means that we can all be ourselves and we can support each other to be ourselves; without judgement, without accusation, without a sense of superiority or inferiority. With evenhood you instantly gain a respect, admiration and love for all other people around you.
I've made this website accessible and free - there are free articles to read, free tools to download and use to help you discover the situations that most impact or support your wellbeing, and there are free Evenhood Cards to personalise and share to help kick-start a mentally healthy conversation.
Through Evenhood I also give motivational talks, resilience training or one-to-one wellbeing coaching. If you'd like to make a booking, get in touch through the enquiry page.
You can explore more by having a read of the Evenhood 2020 Prospectus below.